Taijuan Walker was shut down for a week due to a bursa in his right shoulder. Isn’t a bursa a type of Ethiopian bread? Sounds more like Somalians are holding my beautiful, upside starting pitcher captive. Only Captain Phillips can get me out of this mess…by being taken captive for two hours of a two hour and twenty minute movie and then being saved by characters we don’t even empathize with. Snooze. True story, schmue story, give Phillips a hidden machine gun in his rectum and let him shoot his way out by farting! This is starting to sound bad for Walker. I haven’t moved him in my top 80 starters for 2014 fantasy baseball yet, and, since I only have him down for 170 IP in my projections, I’m not changing anything, but I’d definitely be careful about pairing Walker with lots of other risk. As of right now, Walker will not be ready to start the year in the rotation. Anyway, here’s what else I’ve seen in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Reds Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Wick Terrell from Red Reporter.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Before we get this post-Festivus celebration of the back-end of this mock-u-mentiful draft going, I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of this crazy idea, because I apparently have nothing else to with my time during the off-season. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you can find the Round 1-5 Recap by clicking on this linkadink. For the Round 6-10 Recap, go ahead and marvel at this linkadink. For the complete results, you can check them out here. (Dat nineties website design, bro.) So let’s go to the jump and get this present unwrapped. HOLIDAY THEMES!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe it’s the rush of the holiday season with two kids or the fact that some major cash is flowing in free agency, but I feel like this year’s offseason is just whizzing by. This will be the last sort of “stat review” for SAGNOF before I head into the territory of value plays for steals in 2014. This post will lay out some of the best and worst catchers in terms of their caught stealing percentages (CS%). Keep in mind that pitchers have a lot to do with holding baserunners as well, and you can find my previous post on the best and worst pitchers against the stolen base here at Razzball. A quick note on the catcher tables – I sorted them by qualified and non-qualified catchers. “Qualified” catchers played more than 1/2 of their team’s games, while “non-qualified” catchers played less than that. Catchers who split times between two teams, like Kurt Suzuki, also end up on the “non-qualified” list. The league average caught stealing percentage in 2013 was 28%, and that hasn’t really changed much over the last 3 years (27% in 2012, 28% in 2011). Last but not least, consider that playing time situations can fluctuate with free agent signings and trades, creating new opportunities for previously non-qualified catchers as the offseason transactions continue. Green columns indicate guys that are easy to run against, and red columns designate the toughest to run against:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So, here we are again. You could say it’s been a long time. Or, you could be like me, and say it hasn’t been long enough. This series obviously is not one that touches on hot button issues. There are no Mike Trout or Matt Harvey sightings. Simply put, this series is more a labor of love than anything. I get tired of reading pieces that are supposed to be on deep leagues, and they spend time talking about Lucas Duda. NOT DEEP ENOUGH. And while I moan and groan about discussing the likes of Luke Montz or Chris Rusin, I want to make sure that someone does. Because, first of all, Luke Montz and Chris Rusin deserve to be known by somebody… anybody. Not just their mothers. And second of all, well, simply put, you deep leaguers understand what’s going on here. And if you don’t understand, imagine if your starting lineup consists of names like Nick Punto and Brendan Ryan and Joe Thatcher… then you will know what it is like to be us. And you will wonder why we do what we do. Which, to be perfectly honest, is what we wonder about too. So, with all the time off from this series, I’m sure there is plenty to talk about. [Looks at player list] UGHHHHH.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Kemp is headed back to the DL. He needs Chris Brown to slap some health into him. Obviously, this a terrible sign for Kemp since it’s his shoulder that he had surgery on that is bothering him. Prior to last week, I stayed away from him all year. Teach me to waffle. Billy Butler, “Who’s making waffles?!” On the bright side, Andre Ethier (3-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI yesterday) should see everyday playing time. I’m not sure who that’s a bright side for outside of Ethier and his close relatives. Maybe in some leagues where you’re struggling to find a fifth outfielder, you give Ethier a bit of how’s your father. There’s no bright side for Kemp. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole or touch a ten-foot Pole named Stanislaw. He’s the Pole I’ve been seeing in my dreams. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Marlins parted ways with Ricky Nolasco on Saturday. He was the longest-tenured Marlin. That’s about the same length as a Gary Busey train of thought. Nolasco was also their highest paid player, which on the Marlins is like being the highest paid paperboy. Jeffrey Loria was sad to see Nolasco go, because as the highest paid player he also had in his contract that he had to dust Loria’s artwork. Loria said, “Adeiny Hechavarria is nimble on the field, but how is he with a 700-foot, post-modern statue of unicorn vomit?” Nolasco was more than usable in Miami, with his only big drawback being his inability to win on a club that put swindling nearby residents before winning. On the Dodgers, Nolasco no longer has that issue. He’s a solid #4 fantasy starter with a 7+ K-rate, 2 walk rate and 3.70 xFIP. I’d pick him up in all mixed leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
If Chris Archer was aiming to win last night he was right on target, pitching seven innings against the fearsome Orioles lineup, allowing just 2 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB and striking out two to grab his first win of the year. Bulls-eye! Archer even retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced. Let’s just say opposing hitters could hear Kenny Loggins’ music playing with Archer on the hill because they were riding into the DANGER ZONE, LANA! Relax those monster hands, you don’t have to be Krieger to know Archer misfired in his season debut, surrendering five runs to the Indians and lasting just four innings. But he looked Sterling last night. Chris threw just 84 pitches in the outing, hurling his 95-mph fastball with ease and locating the pitch with perfection. Even Burt Reynolds was impressed. Pitching coach Jim Hickey told Archer he needed to see more of that change up, and both the change up and the slider were on full display last night. He was able to throw both pitches on any count with excellent confidence and control and kept the O’s hitter off balance all game. Although, his next start at Fenway this week is not ideal, he should be streamer-worthy going forward given the right match ups. Until David Price returns from his triceps injury, Chris Archer looks to see a few more starts and is worth a flier in AL-Only and deeper mixed leagues. Also, danger zone!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Rudy went into his fantasy laboratory and came up with yet another tool. This, guys and four girl readers, is the Fantasy Baseball Buy/Sell Tool. It’s about as easy to use as any of the other tools combined. It’s called the Buysellatops and it looks like this. It talks instead of grunting or whatever dinosaurs did. Actually, they could’ve talked. We don’t know. Maybe The Land of the Lost was a documentary. Who’s to say? The Buysellatops has two things on its mind this week, how can we get rid of all of these pollutants and gravity so I can graze the roof? And how little can I buy Jason Heyward for? Sometimes all the planets align for a great buy, this week is one of those days. This day is one of those weeks? You know what I mean. Heyward has just about reached his nadir. Unless he has a season-ending injury tonight, there’s no way he can be worse. His BABIP is silly terrible. Right now, he’s hitting line drives into the gap and it’s hitting a pelican and falling into the outfielder’s glove. If he hits .330 from now until October, it wouldn’t surprise me. He is not a one hundred-something hitter. He has power and speed. Here’s a comparison for ya — he can be as good as Adam Jones the rest of the year. Rarely do you get a chance to buy low on such a highly ranked hitter, but here’s your chance. As Buysellatops would say, “Get Heyward, and maybe some suntan lotion from Buchholz. This sun is so much stronger than I remember it.” Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Max Scherzer has heterochromia, which is a condition where one eye is a different color than the other. Here’s a picture of him. Christopher Walken, Kiefer Sutherland, Mila Kunis, Kate Bosworth, to name a few, also have this condition. Doesn’t this seem like something that at some point will be the “it thing?” I could totally see teenagers in the future riding their hoverboards and wearing only one colored contact. Then further down the line the government will require everyone to have different colored eyes and teenagers with the same colored eyes will rise up to overthrow the government, only to be thwarted because some counter-terrorism organization supplied the teens with marijuana and a new “awesome” video game. Actually, I’m kinda surprised this hasn’t happened yet. With my deep, dark, mysterious, cock-eyed peepers, I looked into Scherzer and decided he’s been the 3rd best pitcher in baseball so far, if you throw out his ERA (the 2nd best is Anibal and 4th best is Burnett). Sure, when one looks cock-eyed at things, they cherry-pick stats and throw out common sense. Still, Scherzer has been fantastic. His K-rate of 11.26 is fifth in the league. His walk rate is 24th. Besides Peavy, Scherzer is the only one in the top 24 with a 9+ K-rate and a walk rate that low. Basic math: if you strikeout people and don’t walk them, great things will happen. Scherzer has been better than F-Her, only F-Her has an ERA of 1.53 and Scherzer’s is at 3.98. Fantasy baseballers (<–Grand Dame Albright’s term!) tend to overrate recent past results and ratios they can understand like ERA. If someone in your league thinks Scherzer is nothing but a #2 or 3 with good Ks, they’re wrong as no rain. I’d pursue Scherzer quickly before his ERA turns around like a dramatic prairie dog. Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?